So, are you one of those Butt-Socks that thinks the 90's were devoid of Musical Genius? Just check out this List of Awesome and Tell me the 90's Sucked
Just The Facts
- Kurt Cobain Died on the Cross to Save 90's Music
- Vanilla Ice has an "Out-ie" Belly Button
- Paula Abdul Would Never Stand a Chance on American Idol
One-Hit Wonders of the 90's
By the 90's, major record labels had realized the money and potential in popular music - and were willing to sacrifice artists and their artist's credibility for a quick buck.
Millie Vanilli and their cousin, Teddy Ruxpin
As the decadent 80's had blossomed into an excess only rivaled by a John Waters film - the average music listener was ready for a change.
Even Signorney Weaver Wants Change
What I've compiled below, is a list of One-Hit Wonders that were the epitome of the music industry in the 90's. Some of these artists stood for change and social justice- others just wanted to be pimped out and sold by their record companies as a novelty. Enjoy, this was the 90's:
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch - "Good Vibrations" (1991)
Sure, we all know that Oscar nominated Mark Walberg used to be "Marky Mark" - the awesomely bad Vanillia Ice wanna-be. I'm sure everyone knows that his older brother Donnie Walberg was a member of New Kids on the Block. But did you know that Mark used to be a woman?
(Ignore that last fact, I actually just made that up.)
"Good Vibrations" comes from Marky Mark's debut album "Music for the People." (Although, the word is still out on what people this album was intended for - from the album cover it looks like a Salvation Army Clothing ad.)
Right Said Fred - "I'm to Sexy" (1992)
What 90's hit list would be complete without this gem of Human creation? Right Said Fred is actually a duo of bi-sexual brothers (well, actually one of them is supposedly straight - but it sounds better if they were both bi-curious.) Can you guess which one is gay? I can't either.
I have a raging Clue; Yeah, well we're too sexy for your Cat
A few years ago, Right Said Fred got the shit beat out of them in Moscow during a Gay Pride Demonstration. What the fuck is wrong with you Russia? You're OK with TaTu being gay - but you draw the line with the "Too Sexy Brothers?"
Mother, stop being such a hypocritical bitch
Once it was released, the song "I'm Too Sexy" ended up dominating the international charts for about 300 years and was foretold in the book of Revelations as being a pre-cursor to the end times. Although as far as one-hit wonders go, there will always be a special place in my life for this song. (Its usually when I do the drunk stumble into a gay club on a Saturday night - and make friends in the handicap stall of the men's room with a guy named "Harvey.")
Joey Lawrence - "Nothing my Love Can't Fix" (1993)
My intention was to keep this list to bona-fide HITS of the 90's; but for 1993 it was either the Joey Lawrence song or "Whoomp! (There It Is) - (which just reminds me of being molested at the Roller Skate rink.)
Work Gloves on; now I'm going to fix you with my Love
Supposedly, "Nothing My Love Can't Fix" hit #10 on Billboard and got heavy play on MTV. But since I've never heard the song until now - I have a hard time believing it.
Joey's music career ended about the same time his acting career did; about 30 seconds after "Blossom" was cancelled. If there truly was a God, he would no doubt sentence Joey to an eternity of living in between Steve Urkel and Kimmy Gibler. Can you imagine the real estate crisis if the 3 of them moved into your neighborhood?
Love thy Neighbor...Whoaa!!
Crash Test Dummies - "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" (1994)
So in case you don't remember this song (or never heard it) - imagine a cross between Nick Cave and Bozo the Clown. Deep Psychological and Philosophical meanderings mixed with a 4-year olds crayon scribble equates to an average song lyric.
"When I'm sampling from your bosom
Sometimes I suffer from distractions like
Why does God cause things like tornadoes and train wrecks?"
"Swimming in your Ocean" - Crash Test Dummies (1993)
Although these guys can claim to having had "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" hit #4 on the American charts, been nominated for three Grammy's and having sold more than 5 million copies of their album - I'd say their biggest success is when they were parodied by Weird Al.
Not sure what these Canadians are up to now; but their biting social commentary, horrible band name and distrust in vowels is enough to keep people mumbling more than 15 years later.
Coolio - "Gansta's Paradise" (1995)
Coolio had a bright future ahead of him. Growing up in Compton, he had been an unofficial member of the Crips, been arrested for larceny and was caught dealing crack - all before he was 23. Then that Cat-Woman bitch made that rip-off student/teacher movie and everything changed:
No one gets a piece of this, until ALL the homework is turned in
With the success of this dumb film and its soundtrack, Coolio suddenly found himself with a Grammy Win - and a Career. Offers began flying in and Coolio ended up doing a track on the Space Jam soundtrack; and now he has his own cooking series and recipe book. Seriously.
Mix the flower with the honey, the honey with the flower - minute after minute - hour after hour
Los Del Rio - "Macarena" (1996)
I would be circumventing my journalistic responsibilities, if I was to ignore the Macarena from my 90's Hit List. Part novelty-song-Ear-Whig, part Satanic-fertility-dance; this is the stuff that keeps Freddy awake at night.
Let's invest in Enron
Although I failed Spanish 3 times (equal to the times I failed Freshman High School) - the Macarena is actually about some tramp whose boyfriend enlists in the Army; then she leaves him and starts banging dudes in New York City. Some would say the Macarena died the second Al Gore tried it; I prefer the Teletubbie version of the story.
The Macarena spent an incredible 14 weeks as the World's #1 Hit Song. This officially (well, for the sake of this article) - makes the Macarena Spain's greatest export until Enrique Iglesias' mole in late 2000.
Oh my God - What is that on your face??
Chumbawumba - "Tubthumping" (1997)
Chumbawamba started in the early 80's; and through 20 album releases (and line-up changes that would make KISS nervous) they've been farily successful in crossing musical genres ranging from dance/pop to acoustic/folk.
I get Knocked Up??
Chumbawumba had a gnarly reputation for social satire, anti-consumerism and promoting human rights....(as opposed to most pop stars reputations in the 90's for knocking up a Spice Girl and getting pulled over with a drunk Transvestite in your car. Or is that just Eddie Murphy?)
This album was released in the 80's, otherwise I would have had words, Mr. Murphy
So, in hindsight Chumbawumba sold 3 million albums - toured the world, and became the essence of everything they hated. There is a rumor that they were offered a million dollars to have their song appear in a Nike commercial. They told those Capitalist-Greedy fucks to pound sand.
Pissing the Night Away
Next - "Too Close" (1998)
When it comes to R&B of the 90's, it doesn't get any more legit that One-Hit Wonders "Next." Next was actually formed by a Gospel Choir Director - who eventually hooked these guys up with Hip-Hop alumni "Naughty by Nature."
Wait, aren't these the same 3 guys?
"Too Close" was Next's "Stairway to Heaven." Instead of ranting for 6 minutes about frilly hedgerows and Pegasus' dry humping Mr. Tumnus - these guys kept their shit street. Enjoy the following lyric sample:
Step back you're dancing kinda close
I feel a little poke coming through
Now girl I know you felt it
But boo, you know I can't help it
You know what I wanna do
"Too Close" - Next (1998)
Next somehow managed to keep adolescent boners "cool" at High School dances across the nation. Of course, until Next follows through with a song about "premature ejaculation," there's still no excuse for High School guys calling it "sex" when it lasts less than 15 seconds.
So, I'm not a virgin anymore right??
Next released a couple more albums - then 2 of the guys started bickering (over the same woman no less.) More bickering ensued with mixtapes of shit talking that escalating into...yep, you guessed it - more mixtapes of shit talking. Unfortunately now, it seems like we'll probably never live to see Next reunited with its original members - and what a shame for trigger happy teens all across the nation.
Sisquo - "Thong Song" (1999)
Sisquo sang for R&B group "Dru Hill" before venturing solo in the late 90's. His major life's work was in the creation of the aptly titled "Thong Song" (which made him awesomely rich and famous.) The key to the "Thong Songs" unique pop structure - is that it actually carries the life blood and DNA of another 90's hit - similar to a panty stain on a heavy-flow day.
Livin La Vida Loca + Thong Song = Monica Lewinsky's Soundtrack to Life
Sisquo has since gone on to do amazing things (things that unfortunately Wikipedia doesn't mention - so it's too much work for this article.) I do happen to know that Sisquo and Coolio are planning on doing a cooking special together - which is enough to make Julia Childs moist; even though she's been dead for 5 years.
Sisquo's Older Cousin
So in re-cap, the 1990's were an epic period of modern music. And just in case you weren't high enough in the 70's to make it as One-Hit Wonder, and you lacked the fashion sense to make it in the 80's - you could always count on making it in the 90's.
This is what your fourteenth second of fame looks like